New Guard

Finding a Way to Trust

“Good afternoon Ms. Cruz,

We haven’t been formally introduced as of yet, but my name is Sorrel Suffolk. I know that this is a little bit out of the blue, but I was wondering if we might meet sometime soon. I need your help. I hear that you might be able to lend me sort of a special insight into some of my abilities that no one else has been able to provide thus far. I know that this is somewhat out of the blue, but I feel that you might be able to aid me in this moreso that any other.

If you would have time and would be so kind, I would ask that you meet me in the Commons this evening.


Nina folded the note back into its perfectly creased thirds and placed it back into the small envelope that she had found under the door of her dorm room. This was certainly odd, but that wasn’t totally out of place for the new kid. She had heard of him and seen him around campus, but never really had met. He kept decent enough company, spending most of his time with Donny and Aaron when he was out and about on campus.

She had always felt a little uneasy when she was around Sorrel. Maybe that is why they had never spoken. He certainly seemed kind and sincere.

“What the heck. He seems interesting.” she thought to herself.

Realizing that he hadn’t actually specified a time, she decided to head across campus and to the Commons. It was still a little early to be considered “evening”, but there might be others around and she had finished up her work for the week. She sat up and tucked the note into her pocket, slipped her boots back on, grabbed her coat, and headed out across campus.

Sorrel sat quietly in the corner of the Commons. His eyes darted back and forth from the Biology text book to the students nearby and then back to the book. He occasionally took a moment, and sipped tea quietly, taking stock of the area nearby. This was the best place to meet, but it was hell on his mind. He had lucked out so far and not let his concentration slip too much. He could feel the energy seep from his very core and into the area. No one else could see the tendrils of web as they floated out, like dandelion tufts, but he could and he had to keep an eye out to make sure no one was affected. As more and more students piled into the Commons after class, Sorrel grew nervous.

“Maybe evening wasn’t the time of choice today. Perhaps I should have suggested something a bit nearer.” he pondered as his breath grew a touch quicker and his eyes moved more rapidly about the nearby area. He sipped his tea again and closed the book.

Sorrel never liked to be late for a meeting, but the sheer number of people was becoming a problem. They moved back and forth in a weird tide, just inside the range of the web and then back out. This wasn’t safe anymore. He slid the textbook back into his bag and stood to leave the Commons, his head beginning to ache.

As Nina approached the commons, she noticed that it was rather busy. Busier than normal.

“This won’t make for a very private conversation.” she thought “I hope this ability of his isn’t too personal of a subject.”

It was at that moment that Sorrel stepped out of the door to the Commons. He quickly turned and began walking at a somewhat hurried pace for about 40 feet before stopping, his back pressed against the wall. He closed his eyes for a moment and took a deep breath before taking a sip of his tea. Whatever was going on, whether it be related to her or not, was troubling him. Approaching slowly, Nina raised a hand in a tentative wave, pausing before approaching.

She stepped forward. "Sorrel? Are you … "

She trailed off as a sense of unease hit her. For a moment, it felt as if something dull but firm pressed against her forehead.

Sorrel’s eyes snapped open at the sound of his name. As a look of concern began to cross Nina’s face, he snapped the tendil of web back away from her.

“I am so sorry, Nina. I didn’t mean to worry you. I wasn’t expecting you for quie a while and had just stepped out to get some fresh air. It is quite the busy day in there.” he said, his voice soothing and sincere. “It’s not too brisk out here, if the wind keeps calm. Perhaps we could walk and talk?”

He took one last long drink of tea before wiping it clean with a handkercheif and stowing it away in his bag.

As they began to walk, Sorrel was clearly nervous. No one really knew what he was capable of. He had done well to hide his powers for the most part. Aside from the thing at the science fair, only a couple of people had been present when his powers were used. At least that they knew of, anyway.

“I don’t know what is going on Sorrel, but I am going to need you to talk to me. I appreciate fresh air as much as the next person, but it’s November and it is freezing out here.” she said.

He nodded and took a deep breath.

“You will have to forgive me, Nina. I am new here and though it has been a couple of months, I am not totally comfortable just yet. I don’t mean to keep you too long out in the cold.” he said apologetically. “You see, I have a problem and I hope you might be able to help. From what I have been able to learn about you, I think we kind of have something in common. You see, my powers are somewhat … undefined in origin. I know not whether they are from this world or another or somewhere in between. I do know that there is a power within me that I have not yet reached. We all have some room for growth, I know, but one ability in particular is a little troublesome and will only become moreso as my potential is realized.”

“From nothing to all that. Don’t ease into this conversatoin or anything.” she smiled. “So what does this have to do with me.”

“Well, you see, Nina, one of my abilities is currently sort of always on. I can pull it back to keep it from affecting people, but it takes a lot of concentration and simply becomes mentally taxing depending on the number of people around.” he said. “I have tried to work on it by putting myself into situations that require me to actively control it, but that seems to not be doing the trick.” he continued. “So I had heard about you and your abilities and thought that perhaps that wasn’t the way and that it wasn’t about reaching a point where my mind could keep up with everything so much as it was about focusing the energy itself. That’s kind of what you did, right?”

“Kind of, i guess, but I need to know more about this power. Come with me. We’ll find somewhere with fewer people. And somewhere not so bitterly cold.”

With a nod, he adjusted the strap of his bag and followed.


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